Wilbur Sanders of Montana

Wilbur Sanders

Wilbur Sanders was one of the true founding fathers of Montana—in a number of ways.

The New York-born attorney came to the territory in late 1863.  He became one of the five men who started the Montana Vigilantes and served as the group’s prosecutor.  In the first few months of 1864, the group hanged at least 20 men for robbery, murder and other crimes.

When things got under control, Sanders became a territorial legislator and, later, a U.S. Senator from the state. He also founded and was president of the Montana Historical Society.

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